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August 24, 2014

It is possible to identify Tibicen just after they have molted

Paul Krombholz has come through with an awesome guide to identifying Tibicens just after they have molted. Click the image below for an even larger version.

It is possible to identify Tibicen species just after they have molted

Notes on the species from Paul:

T. pruinosus [formerly T. pruinosa]—Newly molted adult has darker mesonotum (top of mesothorax) than the very common T. chloromera. Abdomen is a golden orange color. Older adult has dark olive on lateral sides of mesonotum, lighter green below the “arches”.

T. pronotalis (formerly walkeri, marginalis)—Quite large. The reddish brown color can be seen on the mesonotum of newly molted adult. Older adult has solid green pronotum (top of prothorax) and red-brown markings on sides of mesonotum. Below the “arches” the mesonotum color can range from carmel to green. Head is black between the eyes.

T. tibicen [T. chloromerus, T. chloromera]—has large, swollen mesonotum, quite pale in a newly molted adult and almost entirely black in an older adult. Individuals from east coast can have large russet patches on sides of mesonotum. The white, lateral :”hip patches” on the anteriormost abdominal segment are always present, but the midline white area seen in my picture is sometimes absent.

T. davisi—Small. This is a variable species, but all have an oversized head which is strongly curved, giving it a ‘hammerhead’ appearance. Newly molted individuals are usually brown with blueish wing veins that will become brown, but some have more green in wing veins. Some may have pale mesonotums that will become mostly black. Older adults vary from brownish to olive to green markings on pronotum and mesonotum.

T. figuratus [formerly T. figurata]—a largish entirely brown cicada. Newly molted adult has a pink-brown coloration with some blueish hints. Older adult has chestnut-brown markings and no green anywhere. Head is not very wide in relation to the rest of the body. The small cell at the base of the forewing is black.

T. auletes—a large, wide-bodied cicada. Newly molted adult is very green, but the older adult loses most of the green, usually retaining an olive posterior flange of the pronotum. The dorsal abdomen of the adult has a lot of powdery white on the anterior and posterior segments with a darker band inbetween.

Here’s an update for this article (8 years later).

This is a series of photos of a T. tibicen tibicen as it gets darker in color (photo by Cicada Mania). This cicada will retain the green color in its eyes and pronotum, but its back will turn almost entirely black.

Teneral transition of a Tibicen tibicen tibicen cicada

August 1, 2014

A teneral female Tibicen tibicen tibicen

Filed under: Tibicen — Tags: , — by @ 4:19 am

Earlier this week I was lucky enough to find a cicada nymph at a local park in Middletown, New Jersey. I took the cicada home, took some photos and then released it the next day. The cicada turned out to be a female Tibicen tibicen tibicen (formerly T. chloromera) aka a Swamp Cicada.


Teneral female Tibicen tibicen tibicen cicada


Teneral transition of a Tibicen tibicen tibicen cicada

July 28, 2014

Tibicen of the Day

Filed under: Tibicen — by @ 6:22 pm

Over on Facebook and Twitter I’ve been doing a “Tibicen of the Day” series of posts, as it is summer in North America, when Tibicen are active.

We’re counting down to end of the Dog Days of Summer when the star Sirius first makes it’s appearance in the pre-dawn sky, which happens around August 11th. Here is a tool to figure out when Sirius will rise in your area. Update! we reached the 11th and we’re going to keep going!

For folks who aren’t on FB or Twitter, here are the Tibicen of the Day so far:

Last post: this is a list of all Tibicen north of Mexico. This is the final Tibicen of the Day post…

August 17: Photos of a Tibicen canicularis. Tiny with brown eyes.

August 16: Tibicen auriferus (Say, 1825) aka the Plains Dog-day Cicada.

August 15: Tibicen resh (Haldeman, 1852) aka the Resh Cicada.

August 15: Tibicen resonans (Walker, 1850) aka Southern Resonant/Great Pine Barrens Cicada.

August 14: Tibicen lyricen engelhardti aka the Dark Lyric Cicada.

August 13: Tibicen figuratus (Walker, 1858) aka the Fall Southeastern Dusk-singing Cicada.

August 12: Tibicen duryi Davis, 1917.

August 11: Tibicen canicularis, the Dog Day cicada.

August 7: Tibicen davisi davisi (Smith and Grossbeck, 1907) aka Davis’ Southeastern Dog-Day Cicada.

August 6: Tibicen dealbatus (Davis, 1915) aka “What’s the deal, with dealbatus”.

August 5: Tibicen dorsatus (Say, 1825) aka Grand Western or Giant Grassland Cicada.

August 4: Tibicen tremulus Cole, 2008 aka Bush Cicada.

August 1: Tibicen pronotalis walkeri Metcalf, 1955 (formerly Tibicen marginalis) aka Walker’s cicada.

July 31: Tibicen latifasciatus (Davis, 1915) aka the Coastal Scissor(s) Grinder Cicada.

July 30: Tibicen pruinosus pruinosus (Say, 1825) aka Scissor(s) Grinder.

July 29: Tibicen winnemanna (Davis, 1912) aka Eastern Scissor(s) Grinder cicada.

July 28: Tibicen linnei (Smith and Grossbeck, 1907) aka Linne’s cicada.

July 28: BONUS! Cicada Killer Wasps.

July 25th: Tibicen tibicen tibicen (Linnaeus, 1758) aka Tibicen chloromera aka the Swamp cicada.

Bonus: a video of a Swamp Cicada calling by Elias Bonaros.

July 24th: Tibicen auletes (Germar, 1834) aka the Northern Dusk Singing Cicada.

July 23rd: Tibicen lyricen lyricen (De Geer, 1773) aka the Lyric Cicada.

Bonus: T. auletes exuvia:

July 22nd: Tibicen superbus (Fitch, 1855) aka the Superb Cicada.

May 26, 2014

Tibicen superbus videos

Filed under: Tibicen,Video — Tags: — by @ 9:40 am

YouTube has lots of videos of cicadas. Here is a playlist of one of the prettiest North American cicadas, Tibicen superbus:

Tibicen superbus, aka the Superb Cicada, can be found in Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas.

November 7, 2013

New Species of Tibicen: Tibicen neomexicensis

Filed under: Tibicen — Tags: — by @ 6:19 am

A new species of Tibicen cicada, Tibicen neomexicensis, has been described by Brian J. Stucky.

Read more about Morphology, bioacoustics, and ecology of Tibicen neomexicensis sp. n., a new species of cicada from the Sacramento Mountains in New Mexico, U.S.A. (Hemiptera, Cicadidae, Tibicen).

Thanks to David Marshall for the tip.

August 9, 2013

August is a great time to look for Tibicen cicadas in North America

Filed under: North America,Tibicen,Video — Tags: — by @ 9:33 am

Now is a great time to look and listen for Tibicen cicadas in North America. Tibicen are the medium to large sized annual cicadas. Typically they are well camouflaged – with colors like black, white, green & brown.

During the day you can listen for them, of course, and spot them that way. Try Insect Singers for cicada songs. You can also look for their exuvia (skins), and if you’re lucky you can catch on on a low branch.

Last night I started looking around 10pm and found three Swamp Cicadas (T. tibicen tibicen) shedding their skins on trees around the yard. I also collected about 30 exuvia (skins). All in a quarter acre yard. Take a look at this video:

Swamp Cicada shedding its nymphal skin from Cicada Mania on Vimeo.

Swamp Cicada

Teneral Swamp Cicada

July 30, 2013

Tibicen auletes in Manchester, NJ

Filed under: Tibicen,Video — Tags: — by @ 8:44 pm

Last night I went on an exploration of Manchester, NJ looking for Tibicen auletes (Germar, 1834) with Elias Bonaros and his friend Annette.

T. auletes, are known as the Northern Dusk Singing Cicada. As their name suggests, T. auletes calls at dusk, around sunset. Their call is amazing – visit Insect Singers to hear their call.

Luckily I found a (deceased) female and an exuvia (nymph skin). Elias and Annette found many exuvia and a live nymph. We were able to watch the nymph undergo ecdysis (leave its exuvia, and expand its adult body).

Here are some images of the cicadas we found last night (click the first two images to get to larger versions):

Tibicen auletes female Manchester NJ

Tibicen auletes female Manchester NJ ventral

Tibicen auletes nymph Manchester NJ

Some (blurry) video:

Dan and Elias netting a T. auletes exuvia. Photo by Annette DeGiovine-Oliveira:

Dan and Elias Lakewood New Jersey_7-29-13 by Annette DeGiovine-Oliveira

June 2, 2013

Tibicen bermudiana, an extinct cicada

Filed under: Extinct,Tibicen — Tags: — by @ 7:25 am

The Tibicen bermudiana Verrill (T. bermudianus if you want the genus and species names to agree) is a cicada that was endemic to Bermuda and is now extinct. Its closest relative is the Tibicen lyricen, which is found in the United States (and not extinct).

Here is a photo of a T. bermudiana from the collection found at the Staten Island Museum:

Tibicen bermudiana of Bermuda

More photos.

From the Bermuda’s Fauna website:

Sadly, when most of the Bermuda cedar trees were killed of by a blight in the 1950s, the cicadas that made the nights so uniquely magical and romantic in sound also largely disappeared.

April 9, 2013

Biogeography of the Cicadas (Hemiptera: Cicadidae) of North America, North of Mexico

Download the PDF here: www.cicadamania.com/downloads/diversity-05-00166.pdf.

We are excited to announce the availability of a document by Allen F. Sanborn and Polly K. Phillips titled Biogeography of the Cicadas (Hemiptera: Cicadidae) of North America, North of Mexico. This document features distribution maps for North American cicada species! This document is an excellent companion to The Cicadas (Hemiptera: Cicadoidea: Cicadidae) of North America North of Mexico by Allen F. Sanborn and Maxine S. Heath (link to that book).

Abstract: We describe and illustrate the biogeography of the cicadas inhabiting continental North America, north of Mexico. Species distributions were determined through our collecting efforts as well as label data from more than 110 institutional collections. The status of subspecies is discussed with respect to their distributions. As we have shown over limited geographic areas, the distribution of individual species is related to the habitat in which they are found. We discuss the biogeography of the genera with respect to their phylogenetic relationships. California is the state with the greatest alpha diversity (89 species, 46.6% of taxa) and unique species (35 species, 18.3% of taxa). Texas, Arizona, Colorado and Utah are the states with the next greatest alpha diversity with Texas, Arizona and Utah being next for unique species diversity. Maine, New Hampshire and Rhode Island are the states with the least amount of cicada diversity. Diversity is greatest in states and areas where there is a diversity of plant communities and habitats within these communities. Mountainous terrain also coincides with increases in diversity. Several regions of the focus area require additional collection efforts to fill in the distributions of several species.
Keywords: cicada; distribution; Diceroprocta; Tibicen; Okanagana; Okanagodes; Cacama; Magicicada; Platypedia; Cicadetta

An example of a map from the document:

Example Map

January 15, 2013

Tibicen or Lyristes

Filed under: Lyristes,Tibicen — by @ 8:50 pm

A Tibicen by any other name would still sound as sweet…

I always wondered why Lyristes plebejus is also called Tibicen plebejus.

It seems that there is a dispute as to whether the genus Tibicen should actually be called Lyristes. A petition was made (back in the 1980s) to the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature, to change Tibicen to Lyristes. I learned this from the wonderful new book, The Cicadas (Hemiptera: Cicadoidea: Cicadidae) of North America North of Mexico by Allen F. Sanborn and Maxine S. Heath (order it). I checked the ICZN website, and the petition appears to fallen off their docket of open cases. I also noticed that on European and Japanese websites, they use Lyristes.

I personally hope the genus name doesn’t change for North American species — I would have to make a lot of changes on this website. Going through the name change from Tibicen chloromera to Tibicen chloromerus to Tibicen tibcen, was bad enough.

The root of the word Tibicen is flute player, and the root of the word Lyristes is lyre — both referring to musical instruments. (Frankly I think most Tibicen sound like power tools — I don’t know Latin for Black & Decker).

BTW, this is a Lyristes plebejus (from Spain):

Freshly emerged male Tibicen/Lyristes plebejus

And this is a Lyristes flammatus (from Japan):

Tibicen flammatus

And some day, this might be a Lyristes auletes (from North Carolina):

Tibicen auletes

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